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Lightning-Senators Preview @NHL
Lightning-Senators Preview

GAME: Tampa Bay Lightning (7-4-2) at Ottawa Senators (9-2-0).

TIME: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Ottawa Senators aren't just winning regularly, they are making it look easy.

The high-scoring Senators look to become the first Eastern Conference team to reach 10 wins when they host the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ottawa's potent offense was on display again Wednesday as Martin Havlat and Daniel Alfredsson each scored four goals in a 10-4 rout of the Buffalo Sabres.

It was the first career four-goal game for both Havlat and Alfredsson, and the third time in three games a Senators player has scored four times. Dany Heatley had four goals in an 8-0 win over Toronto on Saturday.

"When the team plays well, good things happen for the individuals as well," Alfredsson said. "I got some good breaks tonight and was able to put them away."

Heatley, who added two goals Wednesday, extended his club-record point streak to begin a season to 11 games.

Alfredsson also had two assists to finish with a career-high six points, and Jason Spezza had four assists.

"To have two guys score that many goals, I don't know if I've ever been around that type of thing," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "It is amazing and different, and doesn't happen very often."

Havlat, limited to one goal in his first five games, was playing for the first time since serving a five-game suspension for kicking Boston defenseman Hal Gill.

Ray Emery benefitted from the offense, making 33 saves to earn his third win in three starts this season and improve to 6-0 for his career.

The Senators are second in the NHL with 54 goals. Only Detroit has scored more (55), but the Red Wings have played two more games.

Ottawa already has four wins this season by at least four goals.

Dominik Hasek is expected to be back in net Thursday, looking to rebound from a rare loss. He allowed five goals on 32 shots in a 5-3 defeat to Philadelphia on Monday.

Tampa Bay had a season-best three-game winning streak snapped Tuesday with a 6-4 loss to visiting Atlanta.

Brad Richards scored a pair of goals for the Lightning, who allowed four power-play goals after giving up only three in 62 short-handed situations in their first 12 contests.

The four power-play goals allowed were the most at home in Lightning history, and tied the record for the second most overall in team history.

"There's no excuses," Tampa Bay defenseman Pavel Kubina said. "We knew exactly what they were going to do, and still they scored four (power-play) goals. You can't win games like that."

Richards' two scores extended his point streak to four games during which he has three goals and five assists.

Center Vincent Lecavalier also scored Tuesday, giving him seven goals and eight assists in his last nine games.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 2): Lightning - 16 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Southeast Division. Senators - 18 points, 2nd place, 1PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Lightning - Vaclav Prospal and Lecavalier, 8 goals; Richards, 10 assists; Prospal, 17 points; Pavel Kubina, 24 PIM. Senators - Alfredsson, 11 goals; Spezza, 17 assists and 22 points; Chris Neil, 33 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 2): Lightning - Power play: 11.7 percent (10 for 85), 28th in NHL. Penalty killing: 89.3 percent (59 for 66), 3rd. Senators - Power play: 20.2 percent (14 for 69), 8th. Penalty killing: 84.4 percent (65 for 77), 9th.

GOALTENDERS: Lightning - John Grahame (5-4-1, 1 SO, 2.53 GAA); Brian Eklund (no appearances). Senators - Hasek (6-2-0, 2, 2.09); Emery (3-0-0, 2.95).

SEASON SERIES: Senators, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 21; Senators, 4-1. At Tampa, Fla., Heatley, Neil and Peter Schaefer each had a goal and an assist and Hasek stopped 23 shots to lead Ottawa.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Lightning - 4-1-1 on the road; Senators - 4-1-0 at home.

Associated Press

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